American Crime's Popular Posts

Friday, April 15, 2011

No DNA match in 35-year-old missing person’s case

Jimmy Don Robinson, 21, went missing more than 34 years ago. Family and authorities had hoped a skull found last year could be matched to Robinson, but DNA analysis showed the skull did not match.

No DNA match in 35-year-old missing person’s case 
Family and authorities had hoped DNA extracted from a skull found last year would match the father of a 21-year-old man who disappeared from his Garvin County home more than three decades ago.


The news a skull found in a south Oklahoma field does not belong to the long-lost Jimmy Don Robinson brought mixed emotions to a family that has been searching for answers for more than three decades.

“It’s not a lost cause because we’re still praying for something,” said Phyllis Hines about the mystery surrounding her brother’s 1976 disappearance from Elmore City, a small Garvin County town.

“On the one hand, there’s that hope out there maybe he is still alive,” she said. “On the other side, there’s the fact we don’t know what happened. So, you have to look at the positive.”

When the skull was found southeast of Wynnewood about a year ago, authorities looked for a DNA match to Robinson.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation notified the family earlier this week there was no match.

“We were hoping to find closure and get answers,” Hines said. “It’s still the unknown.”

While Hines admits there’s not a big basis for continued hope Robinson will be found, she will not give it up.

“The glimmer of hope that we have is that you’ve got to hold onto something because there is nothing,” she said.

“I guess you just hope out of the love of your heart that one day he will be found — alive or dead.”

Robinson was the oldest of Jimmy Ray and Jora Robinson’s six children — three sons and three daughters.

When Jimmy Don Robinson disappeared he was newly employed as a car salesman at a Del City dealership and was renting a room in Moore, according to his family and old newspaper reports.

The 21-year-old Robinson stopped by the Elmore City family home to visit and do laundry shortly before midnight on Sept. 30, 1976. He had been excited because he was about to get his first paycheck.

After talking with his sisters, Robinson said he had to go somewhere, but would be back in a half-hour to check on his laundry.

Robinson got into his car — a green, 1974 Toyota Celica on loan from the dealership — about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 1, 1976. He left with another person who had been waiting in the car.

The family never saw him again.

The green Toyota was found a few weeks later on Shields Boulevard in Oklahoma City.

On May 30, a farmer operating a brush hog in a north Murray County field discovered a skull.

Some of the identifiers derived from the skull — weight, height, race and age — were similar to Robinson.

The OSBI sent the skull to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification to extract DNA and see if it matched DNA taken from Robinson’s father.

The OSBI notified Robinson’s family on Tuesday it was not a match, OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.

DNA information from the skull and Robinson’s father will be placed in a national database to see if there are any matches, authorities said.

“I’m not ready to say we’re back to square one because we’re not,” Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said. “We’re a little bit further along than we were a year ago.”

Rhodes said his department will continue to investigate any new leads that surface.

“It took us 30-something years to get Jimmy Don’s story told, but it’s out there,” Hines said. “There’s hope for us on this journey to find answers. That’s what this has been my whole life.”

No comments:

Post a Comment